Marc Jorns mit Schwester Nicole Jorns

Jorns celebrates 50 years of success

Kurt Jorns founded the company Jorns & Co. in Lotzwil in 1973. Five employees worked for the company at the time. Today, Jorns AG employs 76 people, including 11 apprentices. The company is an important employer in the region. Despite difficult conditions, it is still very successful in the field of semi-automatic and fully automatic bending machines. A 50-year success story that was duly celebrated in 2023.


Other companies in the mechanical engineering and metal industry have long since disappeared or have relocated most of their jobs abroad. Not so Jorns AG: the company based in Lotzwil still exists. It is holding its own and still employs over 75 people. Many of them have been with the company for many years - the staff turnover rate is extremely low at just under two per cent. What's more, the vast majority of Jorns AG employees are based in the region, with the majority of the workforce travelling less than 30 kilometres to work. This makes the company a very important employer for the Oberaargau region and beyond. It is also worth noting that around a seventh of the workforce are apprentices. Many apprentices remain with the company after their training - which is a blessing, as the shortage of skilled labour is an issue that also concerns Jorns AG. Against this backdrop in particular, the company's own pool of apprentices has become an invaluable tool for accessing trained and competent specialists and retaining them in the long term.

Looking back on half a century

The year just ended was a very special one for the company, as it celebrated a milestone anniversary: 50 years of Jorns AG. The company's history began half a century ago when Kurt Jorns founded Jorns & Co. in Lotzwil. At the time, he took over an existing small company that manufactured manual swivelling bending machines. However, it was not until Jorns & Co. was founded that the first fully hydraulic machines could be manufactured and offered on the market as folding machines. At that time, Jorns employed five people. Around 1975, the company was building around 50 machines a year for tinsmiths. The continuous development of the machines led to an increase in sales figures and an expansion of the company with a new building. In 1980, the company moved into the new production building, followed by the new office building in 1981. Around 120 machines were now delivered each year.

The same number of units is still being produced today, although the machines designed and manufactured today are much more complex than in the past.

In 1987, the company was transformed into a public limited company, with Kurt and Margrit Jorns as shareholders. By 1994, the company already employed 47 people; around 200 systems were delivered in the mid-nineties.

In January 2004, there was a handover in the management: Marc Jorns took over the CEO position from his father Kurt. One year later, Kurt Jorns definitively handed over the company to his son Marc. Over the years, the company premises and buildings in Lotzwil have been successively expanded and extended.

There were also difficult times

At the end of the noughties, however, Jorns AG also experienced difficult times: The euro crisis was a particular challenge for the export-orientated Lotzwil-based company. One that has remained to this day: "We are still very concerned about the exchange rate problem," explains CEO Marc Jorns. One major event in this context was the Swiss National Bank's cancellation of the minimum euro exchange rate in January 2015 - not an easy situation for Jorns AG, which mainly competes with companies from the eurozone. Jorns AG exports around 55 per cent of its machines and products to eurozone countries, a further 20 per cent to the USA and ten per cent to the rest of the world - giving the company an overall export ratio of a high 85 per cent.

In this highly competitive environment, Jorns AG has been able to hold its own thanks to its clear positioning as a technology leader. "We have been the market leader in the field of long bending machines for thin sheet metal for decades," reports Marc Jorns, whose sister Nicole Jorns also works in the family business - she is responsible for HR.

Production customised to customer requirements

At Jorns, what continues to define the "Swiss" model of success is evident: quality, innovation, specialisation, flexibility and service. "We are extremely flexible in production and can manufacture to individual customer requirements, whereas our foreign competitors tend to offer standardised systems," says Marc Jorns. Jorns AG has also built up a name for itself over the decades: The company now works with the strongest specialised agencies worldwide, through which Jorns machines are sold. "We rely on a global, excellently functioning agency network - which is why our image is crucial," explains Marc Jorns. The Lotzwil-based company also stands out thanks to its excellent customer service, which goes far beyond the mere act of selling. Something that the competition is only able or willing to provide to a limited extent.

Apprenticeship training since 1973

Like her brother, Nicole Jorns is convinced that Switzerland continues to offer advantages as a business location - despite high production costs and exchange rate problems. One competitive advantage that remains unbeatable is the very high level of expertise of the staff that can be recruited here. "Switzerland's dual education system is probably unrivalled anywhere else in the world - this system gives us decisive advantages," says the HR manager in this context. No wonder, then, that Jorns has been training apprentices since its beginnings - in other words, since 1973. Today, interested career starters can train in three professions at Jorns AG. Apprenticeships are offered as production mechanics, plant and apparatus engineers and polymechanics.

Anniversary celebration with employees

This summer, Jorns AG celebrated its 50th anniversary together with its employees on a one-day excursion to the Bernese Oberland. Numerous activities were on the programme for the participants. "When we went jet boating, we got soaked down to our pants," laughs Nicole Jorns, who fondly remembers the eventful day.

On 30 November, the company also hosted an official anniversary event at the Porzi in Langenthal. The event was attended by employees, major suppliers and representatives of the 40 or so agencies with which the company works around the world. The 50-year success story of the company was toasted with all those present in an informal yet very festive setting.

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Marc Jorns

Marc Jorns

Phone +41 62 919 80 50